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BRIDGET KELLY BAND/Blues Warrior: In which we find the kick ass blues rockers turning it up yet again and adding political/protest content to the mix. Having come a long way in a relatively short time, this crew is topping everything they come in contact with and taking it all to a new level of the game this time around. Tearing it up with a message? There's just no limit for this crew as they keep doing it right. Hot stuff.

STEVE DAWSON/Lucky Hand: Like John Daly used to say on "What's My Line?" when he would get exasperated, ‘let's just flip all the cards over'. Canada's national treasure, Steve Dawson, checks in with an instrumental album that shows calling him a national treasure is under rating him. Culling the vibes from all your fave left leaning guitarists and synthesizing them into a new, complete whole, if words like Takoma mean anything to you, this album will mean even more. A true jaw dropper throughout, this set is no one trick pony and will blow your ears open time and again every step of the way. Killer stuff for hungry muso ears.

QUATOUR ARDEO/Goldberg Variations: This string quartet plays a transcription of the Variations that is faithful but not slavishly so keeping the original intent in tact. A lovely recital, played and recorded sounding like it's performed just for you, this is a high brow, high tone classical work that's made for the real connoisseur and affectionato. It's not that newbies are excluded, it's that this crew came to play and should be appreciated by those who came to hear. High octane, high quality work throughout.

HIRVIENDO EL MAR/Spanish Baroque Vocal Music: For a lot of us, this is going to be a new experience. Sounding much like a lot of madrigal music that has drifted by over the years, this crew keeps it real sounding like something you would have heard from English ensembles, except for the distinct Spanish vibe. Very much a tony, up market kind of recording, if you aren't playing this on a Sunday afternoon in the background and feeling like a real grownup, there really is something wrong with you. A great, well done classical diversion for the classical tourist looking for something out of the ordinary.

JONATHAN KREISBERG & NELSON VERAS/Kreisberg Meets Veras: Kind of a 50s title on the set but certainly not a 50s vibe in the set. Just two guitar jazzbos out for a good time mixing it up on acoustic and electric, original and chestnut all the while showing how simplicity can be the foundation for a good time to be had by all. Tasty playing that doesn't need any outside heat, it's just served just right. Well done.

MMHMM: Pronounced as in yeah-huh, this duo of Nashville gals charting their own course reminds me of the off beat stuff I used to love playing on college radio. With chops and résumés that belie their neo hippie, indie stance, they make simple sounding/wise beyond it's years Americana-pop (a genre they are pioneering) that pings because it takes you back to a simpler time. Forget about their baked in chops and sit back, strapping yourself in for some fun that works by catching you so unawares. Hot stuff.

SOUTH PARK/Complete Twenty First Season: Opioids bring run out of an old people's home? Losing a Netflix series because of fake news on Twitter? Combating bullying in the schools? Inappropriate forbidden love because of DNA testing? Cartman and his gal going sideways? All this and more as Stone & Parker show themselves to be the Mark Twain's of their generation as they continue to show how ridiculous everything is---all the time. Continually in the moment with razor sharp, rapier wit cutting away the underbrush, all you can do is keep howling until the next installment drops. Utmost hilarity through the eyes of their alter egos is the best tonic for the times we're living in. Unbeatable!

Number 41/Number 206
May 25, 2017
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

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